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Risk quant to desk quant

quant_pok

New Member
Hello, I am a quant in the market risk team of a tier 1 IB, I graduated college this year and it’s my first job. I want to move to the FO quant roles preferably without switching banks. The bank provides internal mobility after 1 year of job so I have about 7-8 months to prepare to move. I wish to move in the rates or equity FO team. I have two questions regarding this :

1) I know I must do well in my current role to be even considered for mobility, but what preparation and/or networking should I do for when I eventually apply for mobility
2) Is mobility between risk and desk quant roles very rare? Is it possible to move within an year?
 

KillingField

Active Member
Why would you not want to move banks? You should if it's easier - you're not senior enough to have been pigeonholed yet so (internal) networking is not your only choice, and it may be easier to find open roles externally. After all, they're not going to make a special role for you internally either: it's usually a matter of someone else leaving and you applying to fill their shoes.

Now if you're looking for an internal move, you don't need to network per se, though you may hear of open positions or positions about to open through the grapevine faster that way and having a good reputation goes a long way in general. Ideally you would position yourself so that you become known to the target team in your current role, e.g. if it is an equity desk quant role that you desire, you would ideally be working in the equity model space as a market risk quant and interact with the desk quant team. Maybe go get a coffee or a beer with them too as things normalize.

As for other preparation, you'll most likely be put through the usual interview process when you apply, so make sure your interview skills are still up to par.

Mobility from market risk quant roles to desk quant roles is not rare at all - I'd encourage you to speak with someone who's made the jump in your firm for more color. That said, there are not that many quants, so opportunities may not open up all the time, and they are competitive, which is why I'd encourage you to also keep a look out for roles at other firms, too.
 

Quasar Chunawala

Well-Known Member
As someone who took internal mobility, I second what @KillingField said. I can confidently say that moving from middle-office to a quant role is possible. The same can be said about one's age. Nobody cares about these things. A candidate who recently joined our team, is 37, has done a tonne of things in life, and went to grad school recently, to finish his masters in mathematical finance.

Quant managers ultimately see what you bring to the table. They will put you through the same interview process. You can expect math puzzles, probability brain-teasers, basic algorithms and the rest depends on your background really.

Have fun, all the best.
 

quant_pok

New Member
Why would you not want to move banks? You should if it's easier - you're not senior enough to have been pigeonholed yet so (internal) networking is not your only choice, and it may be easier to find open roles externally. After all, they're not going to make a special role for you internally either: it's usually a matter of someone else leaving and you applying to fill their shoes.

Now if you're looking for an internal move, you don't need to network per se, though you may hear of open positions or positions about to open through the grapevine faster that way and having a good reputation goes a long way in general. Ideally you would position yourself so that you become known to the target team in your current role, e.g. if it is an equity desk quant role that you desire, you would ideally be working in the equity model space as a market risk quant and interact with the desk quant team. Maybe go get a coffee or a beer with them too as things normalize.

As for other preparation, you'll most likely be put through the usual interview process when you apply, so make sure your interview skills are still up to par.

Mobility from market risk quant roles to desk quant roles is not rare at all - I'd encourage you to speak with someone who's made the jump in your firm for more color. That said, there are not that many quants, so opportunities may not open up all the time, and they are competitive, which is why I'd encourage you to also keep a look out for roles at other firms, too.
Hey, thank you for the answer. When is it a good time to search for outside roles? I'm guessing trying to switch after 5-6 months doesn't leave a good impression on either side.
 

KillingField

Active Member
Hey, thank you for the answer. When is it a good time to search for outside roles? I'm guessing trying to switch after 5-6 months doesn't leave a good impression on either side.
Well you might as well start looking today and replying to the headhunters that probably by now have found and messaged you via LinkedIn etc. The search for a suitable role, and then passing the interview and going through HR and such, may take some time and it doesn't hurt to have a finger on the pulse of the job market. Start networking, grabbing coffees (be it internal or external, though I know this can be a bit tough what with a global pandemic raging) and going to interviews -- bail if it's not a good fit and don't let recruiters talk you into accepting a job you don't want.

And yes, you will get asked as to why you want to move, and I hope you have a better reason than the internet meme echochamber telling you that being a desk quant is sexier (do tell me though, I am curious). I don't think a hiring manager would really hold it against you that you needed a job coming out of school and didn't happen to find the ideal one open (again, especially this year - might as well milk it), but now that you found one would like to make the jump. Yes, it won't leave a particularly positive impression of you on your current employer if you bail so quick, but eh, this happens, and it's more common than you'd think (I've seen it happen multiple times with much less time spent on the job than you already have) and it's not that bad. Nobody wants to keep a disgruntled employee around anyway as that has a tendency to spread.
 
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